Life has a funny way of testing us. Have ya noticed yet?
As we enter into the beginning of another year, contemplation settles and new goals manifest as we begin to ask ourselves, “What can I do better?”
For me, 2017 was one of many lessons. A time of learning to let go and welcome in. A time to heal, grow, and simply allow myself to take a break and just BREATHE.
“ If you honour your pain it will change your life ”
- Tori Hartman
This past fall I was involved in a car accident. Minor, yes, but I have trauma from past accidents and was having one hell of a month. So, in my head, this was another obstacle unexpectedly being thrown in my way that I did not need. The universe, however, disagreed.
I was alive. No one was injured. But the sequences of staggering events were now lying heavy on my chest. It became hard to breathe. Hard to think. My anxiety was through the roof. I was close to having a mental breakdown. But in that moment, all I could do was try to breathe through it all.
Slow, deep long breaths. I fought back the tears. For one, because I was with a friend who doesn’t do well with emotionally indecisive wrecks like me, and two, it really could have been so much worse. But people like me who suffer from anxiety know that the severity of the situation that triggers the anxiety in that moment doesn’t necessarily matter. I was in over my head. And despite it all, I was successfully able to calm myself down with doing that one thing most of us take for granted. That one thing that I gratefully learned how to warp into my own therapy session..
It wasn’t until hours later that I realized that breathing really has truly become my medicine. That if I hadn’t been practicing meditation and wasn’t given the proper tools to overcome these moments of depression and anxiety, that I would still be in a much darker, colder place.
Hell, who knows if I’d even still be alive.
Yes, even yoga instructors like me have our days of depletion and questioning whether or not we are capable of letting go and being that “perfect” mirror for those who come to us for guidance. In the midst of me trying to better myself and be the teacher everyone needs me to be, I’ll be the first to admit that I too have my demons and I am not perfect. But here’s the thing we sometimes forget, nobody is.
While flipping through Netflix one day, trying to find the next murder mystery show to obsessively distract myself with, I came across the documentary “On Meditation” -- A modern day intro into meditation, using well-known individuals who have found peace through their practice. At the time I was reading “Real Happiness”, a book on “the power of meditation”, by Sharon Salzberg, Conveniently enough, one of the speakers on the show was Sharon Salzburg herself. In this documentary, she shared one of her secrets that made me smile and also brought me back to my first time practicing the very special LovingKindness Meditation in Costa Rica. She confessed how, at times, while wandering the streets during her passing of strangers and such, she would simply say a prayer in her head for these individuals who would cross her path. With a smile, she would say to herself with the best intentions of it telepathically reaching the other, “May you be happy, may you be peaceful”. This made my heart melt. And inspired me to do the same.
And so, here I am. Full circle. Learning real happiness. Practicing compassion. Healing my wounds. And learning to make the most out of the thing I am most grateful for, the ability to breathe and the will to teach others how to do the same.
It was that day that I got into a car accident that really solidified some very important things for me. Some of which I was already aware of and had forgotten.. The power of meditation is real and everyone has the ability to use it to help themselves and reach others. Through time, love, and kindness, wounds do heal. And when we can learn how to feel our feels and let them go with grace, that’s when the magic happens. That’s when we find real happiness. That’s when we can simply walk down the street and look at a stranger, or an enemy, with a genuine smile and a warm heart and mean it when we say,
“May you be happy, may you be peaceful”.
And so, on that note, I wish you all happiness, peace, and growth this 2018. Time waits for no one. In order to heal, we must forgive. In order to grow, we must let go. If you too are interested in meditation and are looking for someone to help be a guide, a beacon of light.. I open my arms to you.
P.S. Happy first Full Moon of 2018! What luck, on the first day of the year! Perfect time to take that energy and transition into your own.
All the love
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